A look at economic developments around the globe

AP News
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Posted: Dec 28, 2009 12:33 PM

A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Monday:

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TOKYO _ Japan's factory output grew the most in six months in November as a recovery in export demand from Asia boosted production in the world's second-biggest economy. Factory output _ a key barometer of Japan's economic health _ was up 2.6 percent from October and logged its ninth consecutive month of growth, the government said. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average gained 139.52 points, or 1.3 percent, to 10,634.23, the highest finish since late August. The broader Topix increased 0.6 percent to 914.78.

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MADRID _ Spain's budget deficit for the first 11 months of the year has ballooned to 6.79 percent of gross domestic product _ five times last year's figure _ due to dipping tax revenues and the mounting costs of combating the economic crisis, the government said. The Economy Ministry said in a statement that the central government's deficit grew to 71.52 billion euros ($103.02 billion), up from 13.96 billion euros posted in November 2008. Spain has tumbled from being one of Europe's top job-creators to having the region's highest unemployment, at 17.9 percent, in less than two years.

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PARIS _ European stock markets moved higher as investors come back from a long holiday weekend to find Japanese markets hitting recent new highs. In Europe, the FTSE-100 index of leading British shares remained closed for the Boxing Day holiday. In Paris, the CAC 40 index rose 0.71 percent to 3,940.54, closing in on 4,000 points, a level it last saw in October, 2008. Germany's DAX rose 0.74 percent to 6,001.30. Gains were underpinned by optimism over improved holiday spending data in the U.S. as well as a jump in Japan's factory production, suggesting an economic recovery is gathering pace.

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SHANGHAI _ Chinese shares rebounded after the country's premier affirmed the country's easy credit policy for the coming year. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 47.43 points, or 1.5 percent, to close at 3,188.78. The Shenzhen Composite Index for China's smaller second exchange jumped 1.5 percent to 1,186.20. Premier Wen Jiabao, the country's top economic official, told the government's Xinhua News Agency on Sunday that Beijing will continue its relaxed monetary policies in 2010 rather than drastically withdraw its stimulus. That came after investors fretted for weeks about a year-end decline in liquidity.

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PARIS _ New car registrations in France are on track to rise 10 percent this year as a cash-for-clunkers plan designed to promote sales of less-polluting vehicles helped lift the industry to a new record, France's industry minister said. New car registrations will reach 2.27 million this year, the best result since 1990, French Industry Minister Christian Estrosi said in a statement. Estrosi said the increase "clearly separated" France from the rest of the European car market, which is set to finish the year on a flat pace.